So...yet another story I've written while procrastinating for "Sleepers, Awake." I have started the next chapter for that one though, so don't worry. It will be updated . . . . eventually.

While I was writing this story, one of my little sisters came in and looked at me. I had been playing with my Rapunzel and Eugene dolls and she looked at me. "Really, Julie? You're playing with your Tangled dolls?" My ten year old sister is laughing at me for playing with dolls! It's not that pathetic . . . is it? :/

Disclaimer: As much as I wish I owned this movie, I don't. I'd even be content with owning just the lantern scene, because whenever I see it, I think, "It's so cute, I think I'm going to die!" Seriously, I tend to have trouble breathing because I love it so much. (Mostly because I have to hold my breath to keep from screaming, "I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!") So, I don't own Tangled, but I do own afforementioned dolls that I play with. Tee hee.


Very carefully, Rapunzel removed a flower from Eugene's outstretched hand and placed at the top of the reflection of the castle, smiling at it. She was about to reach for another blossom when something caught her attention. A small beam of light was reflected on the water.

Her eyes flashed up to the sky and she leapt to her feet, leaping across the boat, knocking poor Eugene over in her haste to get to the front. She wrapped her arms around the piece of wood at the edge and looked up, her green eyes wide.

She held her breath as that one lantern rose up the sky, and gasped as hundreds more followed. She couldn't decide where to look. Also on the water, people were releasing lanterns from the boats, and still more were coming from throughout the village.

The brilliance of the lanterns lit up the night sky with a soft orange glow, the lanterns swirling gracefully through the air.

In that instant, Rapunzel knew that she had accomplished her dream. She had finally seen the lanterns, and, while they were even more amazing in person, she couldn't help but wonder what to do next.

Having a dream was one thing. It was something to hold on to, something to grasp. Achieving it was the most fulfilling feeling she'd ever had. But finding a new one? Not as simple as Eugene had made it sound.

The light from the lanterns reflecting in her eyes, she rested her cheek on the post of the boat, smiling blissfully at the sheer beauty of it all.

Whatever she faced when she returned home to Mother would be completely worth it because of this. But then a thought intruded upon her joy.

Home . . . didn't feel like home anymore. She didn't want to be trapped in the tower for another eighteen years. She had just seen the world—she wanted more.

As these thoughts bounced about in her head, something caught her attention from behind her.

Eugene.

Somehow, he had managed to hide two lanterns somewhere in the boat, and they were now lit. He held them out with a crooked grin, the complete opposite of the Smolder that he was so proud of. It was simple and relaxed, and much more sincere than the Smolder had been. His chocolate eyes sparkled with genuine feeling, though she could not yet decipher what he was feeling.

She turned around and sat back down, smoothing out her dress nervously before speaking.

"I have something for you, too."

She reached behind her quickly and grabbed his satchel from where she had hidden it under the seat.

"I should have given it to you before," she admitted, "But I was just scared. And the thing is . . . I'm not scared anymore. You know what I mean?"

And she truly wasn't. She knew that he wasn't going to leave her. She had no absolute assurance, but she trusted him completely. Somehow, he'd changed, and she felt that he was someone she could place her trust in.

His eyes widened at the sight of the satchel, as if he'd completely forgotten about it. The shock wore away into a slight smile, and his hand reached out. She waited for him to take it, but he pushed it away gently.

"I'm starting to," he said with a brilliant smile. His eyes seemed to glow, and she finally was able to see what it was that made his eyes shine so brightly.

Love.

As soon as the word came to her head, she was able to comprehend her own mixed feelings. The trust she had in him—seemingly foolish and ungrounded after his behavior just yesterday—the way she felt when she saw him smile at her, the reason she was so filled with delight whenever he looked at her.

She loved him, too.

Together, they released the two lanterns and watched as they flew up into the sky, twirling around in circles as if they were dancing with each other. They watched until they were indistinguishable from the other lanterns. At that moment, Rapunzel's attention was caught by a lantern floating down near the water.

She looked at Eugene and pointed excitedly. She reached out over the edge of the boat, not noticing the way Eugene's hand twitched in her direction. She was oblivious to his anxiety about how far she was over the edge, and how easily she could fall in. All she felt was the elation from the night.

She caught the lantern just as it was about to land in the water and sent it back into the air, beaming at Eugene.

Suddenly, she felt his larger hand grasp hers, and she looked up. The look on his face made her heart skip a beat. So open, so loving, so . . . him. This was Eugene Fitzherbert. Flynn Rider was gone.

Her right hand automatically found his left so that both their hands were entwined. They gazed deep into each other's eyes, hearts full to bursting. Both saw the light of the lanterns reflected in the other's eyes, reminding them both of the atmosphere of wonder they were sheathed in.

Something in his eyes shifted, and his right hand gently broke free of hers, moving up to gently stroke the side of her face. His fingers moved to tuck a strand of blonde hair behind her ear. His hand cupped the side of her face and gently began to pull her face towards his.

As his face neared, Rapunzel's mind flew in all directions.

Is he going to kiss me? What if I'm bad at kissing? I'd never seen a man before him, let alone kissed one! Panic threatened to overwhelm her, but seeing the love in Eugene's eyes, she somehow knew that, even if she was a bad kisser, he wouldn't care. She let her eyes flutter shut and waited.

But the kiss never came.